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By Chuan Li & Pau Rausell (UVEG)

The Spanish city of Valencia has been named the World Design Capital (WDC) for 2022, becoming the first Spanish and Mediterranean city to earn this prestigious designation since its inauguration in 2008.

In its Sep. 9 announcement, World Design Organisation (WDO) noted that Valencia has a longstanding design legacy and that the city has become a leading example of effective and strategic use of design on the development of public policy and its impact on industry. It will follow Lille, which is the 2020 city of the biannual designation.

Luisa Bocchietto, WDO president and member of the 2022 Selection Committee, fully recognized Valencia’s compelling proposal with a view to demonstrating the significance and effective application of design principles and methods in regional development, climatic changes and the improvement of living standards.

Professor Pau Rausell of the University of Valencia, a consortium member of the DESIGNSCAPES project, was strategic co-director of the city’s candidature for WDC2020. Rausell stressed the contribution of DESIGNSCAPES in securing the designation for Valencia, “Valencia wouldn’t have become World Design Capital without the support of the DESIGNSCAPES project,” he said. “Frankly speaking, the preparation has been inspired and facilitated by the methodology of DESIGNSCAPES since the very beginning”.

World Design Capital 2022 is one of 70 case studies selected in the City Snapshot of DESIGNSCAPES. During the preparation of the bid for WDC2022, the DESIGNSCAPES project closely collaborated with the campaign team to develop a user-oriented approach to addressing the strategic role of design and design-enabled innovation in Mediterranean urbanscapes, which finally shaped the core of Valencia WDC 2022.

In this sense, the triumph of Valencia also is a success for DESIGNSCAPES, which demonstrates the potential of the DESIGNSCAPES project and its proposed methodology in building the capacity of design-enabled innovation in European cities.